Every year, for one day, the town of Falmouth is taken over by pink wig-wearing fundraisers in support of Breast Cancer Now. The group tell us how they started fundraising and how the event has grown over the years.
A pink wig and a huge idea
It all started with a big girls’ night out in 2009 to wish our founder and close friend, Sally Hicks-Wood, good luck as she embarked on treatment for her newly diagnosed breast cancer. For a laugh, she donned a pink wig. None of us were to know how huge this little idea would become.
As we passed through our local pubs, people were trying to give us donations. Of course, we were not collecting so could not accept, but it gave us a huge brainwave. So the following year, as Sally completed her treatment, we decided to contact what was then Breast Cancer Campaign to see if we could collect for them. The turnout was incredible – about 100 women all wearing pink wigs went out that night and we collected £1,000!
And it just kept growing; in 2011 we around 250 ladies took part in our pink wig pub crawl (raising £2,500) and we realised that the event was becoming too large for our local pubs. We had to think of a bigger plan.
Falmouth Week goes pink
The next year we became a part of the annual Falmouth Week celebrations and organised a pink wig parade through our town. Approximately 450 ladies turned up as we marched, accompanied by the infamous Falmouth Town Marine Band (who admit to not being able to play a musical instrument between them!) and Betty Stoggs. The parade led us to the event square marquee for an evening of live music, Zumba and DJ. There was a cocktail and bubbly bar, lots of dancing and fun, and pink wigs galore! We raised a staggering £9,000 at this event.
The year after brought with it a variety of events and challenges, raising £20,000. We held a pink tie ball (and this time we finally let the men be involved!), a second parade, coffee mornings, a team taking part in the South Coast Challenge, and we even had a parachute jump!
We took a well-deserved rest in 2014 as we had a lot of personal things going on, but still had fundraising happening on our behalf, with Sally's husband undertaking a base-to-base cycle challenge and raising £6,000 for cycling to all 12 search and rescue bases around the country.
We were hit with sad news when in 2015 we lost our founder, Sally, to the disease. But the committee vowed to keep her pink wig alive and hit back with a huge night out with 600 ladies attending, as well as a barn dance, and we raised £15,000.
Our biggest event yet
In 2016, we held our biggest event to date with 850 tickets sold. The support and following that we now have never ceases to amaze us and we are forever thankful – we raised another £15,000 with this one event. The local lifeboat crew even became involved! We now see many of our local shops turning their displays pink for the day for our event.
We have kept the format the same even after all of these years: ladies only. This started as a girls night out and that's how it should continue: pink wig essential; we have the parade, then head to the event square for live music with a DJ, Zumba, cocktails and bubbly, a raffle, and a photo booth for a bit of fun.
In the past, we’ve been lucky to attend The House of Lords on three occasions through Breast Cancer Now and we also won Best Regional Event in 2014 for the 2013 event.
Passion for the cause
There are only six of us on our committee and we all work full-time, but we are so passionate about Pink Wig Events and raising vital funds and awareness, as we have all been touched by cancer.
We hope to see our Pink Wig Night continue to grow and we are privileged to have the support of our local town council, Falmouth Week organisers, local businesses and, most of all, the ladies that continue to support us year on year and attend the event.
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Image credit: Ian Butts Photography